Merlin (with spoilers) Grundo, Coercion

deborah deborah at
Fri May 30 12:31:19 EDT 2003

On Thu, 29 May 2003, Robyn Starkey wrote:

|>It depends on the purpose of the "race" then.  There is a school of thought
|>that says failing to make use of ones talents is immoral - up to a point. I
|>know a genius-IQ friend of my son's was not considered to behave well when
|>he deliberately handed in substandard work, just to look "like the others".
|There is a great bit in one of Bujold's Miles books (A Civil Campaign) when
|Miles has to consider his behaviour. His mother reminds him of how he felt
|when he found out someone let him win a physical game as a child - he was
|absolutely devastated. I think that is key to understanding whether or not
|it is a good idea to let kids win. Is the child the sort of person who
|would be offended by being allowed to win if he or she were really invested
|in the skill? For example,  I would never let my daughter win at a physical
|contest, because she is so physically able she can already beat most kids
|her age and older in things like races or climbing. She needs to know that
|adults are faster and stronger.

Oy, I am so OT, but:

There's a difference between letting someone win and playing so everyone
will have fun.  The point of many games is to have fun.  If I'm playing
Settlers of Catan, and I know I can completely strangle out one
competitor at the beginning of the game, I won't do it unless she's that
sort of player.  Because otherwise, she's got another hour of playing a
game in which she's just not competitive and can't do much, and what's
the point in that?  At the end of the game, or to guarantee a win, sure.
It's why I don't play Avalon Hill games anymore (except Monsters Ravage
America); most of them last 8 hours, and 30 minutes in, you already know
which 2 people have a chance of winning. So everybody else spends 7.5
hours killing time, eating Pringles, and getting hit with calamities
because they're too weak to avoid them.  What's the point?

"Card games are always fraught affairs, since inevitably the fall of the
cards has some *miasma of meaning* (omt) that goes far beyond the game

deborah at
In plain then, what forbids he but to know,
Forbids us good, forbids us to be wise?   -- Paradise Lost

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